Reggie Case Study: “Ritz Cheese Crispers Launch – Albertsons Companies”


Marketer: Mondelez International

Agency: VMLY&R Commerce

Reggie Category: New Product or Service Launch

For the most part, COVID-19 created a particularly challenging environment in which to introduce a new product — unless it came from a familiar and trusted brand name like Ritz. Looking to attract Albertsons shoppers where they were most engaged (i.e., at home on their smartphones), Mondelez International and agency VMLY&R Commerce sought to build awareness for the company’s new oven-baked Ritz Cheese Crispers in a two-stage solution.

The first wave, which came in July, focused on initial trial. In the pre-shop phase, customers were sent animated mobile banners through Albertsons Performance Media that highlighted taste appeal and offered the retailer’s signature “Just for U” digital coupon to specific Albertsons’ divisions. Other divisions received a month-long Big Book circular ad with a Just for U offer. In stores, customers were greeted with checkstands and lobby displays, as well as shelf tags promoting the offer and the new product news, providing additional product education and navigation.

The second wave, in September, focused on re-trial with similar tactics. Social influencers were added to continue the conversation and drive awareness by leveraging an authentic voice. With in-store sampling halted due to the pandemic, shoppers were given their first taste of Cheese Crispers with Albertsons Companies’ new Drive Up and Go sampling program, complete with a promo code to drive repeat purchase. Incremental in-store display and shelf tags aided in navigation and education for those shoppers who were converting.

The launch programming proved successful despite the challenges. Overall cracker category sales increased 17% in the first four weeks of the launch, and 67% of sales were incremental to the category. Ritz sales increased by 26% in wave one and 4% in wave two. The program drove household trial for Ritz Cheese Crispers, with 84,000 new households added in wave one and 38,000 in wave two. Almost one-third of new buyers were also new to the category at Albertsons.